What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “kingdom”?
Maybe you imagine a fairy-tale kingdom…a castle with a long drawbridge, and turrets all around. With a princess high up in a tower (because they always seem to hang around in those things for some reason), a king and queen seated on their thrones with courtiers and jesters attending to them, and knights just outside trotting around on horses. Or maybe you’re into a little more ancient historical events and picture cruel Assyria, advancing their kingdom by whatever means necessary, piling up the skulls of their enemies by their gates. Or perhaps Babylon or Persia, with its funny-looking towers with tear-dropped shaped tops. Or maybe you see Alexander the Great weeping because there’s nothing left to conquer, or see Augustus Caesar ascending to the throne after Julius Caesar was murdered. Or maybe you see something from Lord of the Rings or Star Wars or imagine the current United Kingdom, I don’t know.
In light of all these kingdoms, let me give you my own definition for kingdom.
KINGDOM – Wherever a king has domain. The place where a king’s authority is in place and the people are subject to him and his laws.
In light of all that, did you know the Bible speaks of a kingdom not ruled by man…but God. The kingdom of God. In fact, in the book of Daniel, the king of Babylon has a dream of the kingdoms I mentioned above, and when the prophet Daniel interprets it, he explains about another kingdom…the kingdom of God…that will supersede all of these kingdoms!
Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
That sound pretty sweet! The God of heaven sets up a kingdom that will NEVER be destroyed! I kind of want to be on His side! So when does this kingdom come about? Let’s fast forward in time to when the Romans were ruling, and Jesus has been born. In the midst of all this chaos of the Roman empire ruling the Jews, all of a sudden, a carpenter from Nazareth shows up on the scene and begins to preach about a kingdom.
Mark 1:14-15 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, (15) And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. KJV
The Bible says He came in preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand!
Whaaaa? What is he talking about? Is it about to come? Where is it? Is He leading it? That’s the exact question some of the Pharisees had.
Luke 17:20-21 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: (21) Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. KJV
Jesus was saying the kingdom of God was already here, and that it did not come with observation, where you can just point to a central location, because it is WITHIN you. Now before you get all disappointed with what may sound like a cop-out answer, think of how brilliant this is. God doesn’t just conquer lands and forcefully subject people to His rule at this time. Instead, He has set up a kingdom that can never be destroyed and has been spread out throughout the entire world already as I’m writing this, filled with pockets of people who are subject to Him!
Remember my definition of a kingdom? It’s wherever a king has authority and people subject to Him.
We choose whether or not we are going to be a part of this kingdom right now. Jesus told us how: Repent and believe the gospel. That makes perfect sense. Repentance is changing our mindset about how we live. It’s acknowledging that my way isn’t right, so I’m going to submit to God’s way. It’s acknowledging Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, meaning that WHATEVER HE says, goes. No matter what earthly government we are under at the time, are chief loyalty is to our Highest King!
What about you? Are you part of the kingdom of God as is described here, with the King of Kings having ultimate rule in your heart?
Is there anything in your life that is NOT subject to your King?
Discuss Biblically how we become part of the kingdom and how we can tell others to join the kingdom.